How To Get Into Pottery: 10 Different Ways To Get Started

Pottery has been around for thousands of years. For some it’s a passion and for others a fun hobby.

There are many ways to get into pottery and start throwing your first pot, even if you have no prior experience.

So here are 10 different ways to explore your newfound interest in pottery.

1) Pottery Studios Near You

If you have no experience working with clay at all, the best thing you can do is to take a class at a local studio or college art department.

Get in touch with one near where you live and ask if they offer any beginner courses or introductory lessons.

Learning directly from an experienced teacher is the fastest way to learn pottery. You can learn many of the techniques by yourself, but a teacher can quickly correct you when you are making mistakes. And often you don’t even realize you are doing something wrong in the first place!

After you have picked up some of the basic skills, it will be so much easier to start making pottery at home by yourself.

2) Pottery Books

If you can’t take classes in person, reading a few books can also be a great way to get into pottery.

There are some standard books for beginners such as Mastering The Potter’s Wheel and Complete Pottery Techniques that cover all the important steps in the pottery-making process.

But pottery is a complex topic and whole books can be written about seemingly trivial steps such as applying a glaze.

Not all of these books are beginner-friendly, but if you truly want a deep dive into the art of pottery, you could give Amazing Glaze and Mastering Hand Building a try.

3) Pottery Kits

Kits are a great way to experience pottery and learn the basics through trial and error by yourself.

What’s included varies a lot from kit to kit, so the price can vary from $20 all the way up to $150. Most kits include at least a small amount of clay, some basic pottery tools, and instructions.

Normally these kits contain just enough for a single project, such as a planter or a plate.

If you want to continue your pottery journey after trying your hands on one or two of these kits, you probably should buy some quality tools and equipment that you can use over and over again.

4) Local Galleries

Another way to get into pottery is by visiting galleries in your area. Checking out the amazing work of several ceramic artists is an easy way to get fascinated by the craftsmanship.

It will also help you get a good idea of what you want to make as a potter, which styles suit you best, and what materials to work with.

Don’t just visit larger galleries, but also check out the smaller ones. The small galleries often have more unique pottery styles and techniques than their bigger counterparts.

5) Pottery Magazines

Reading magazines is a great way to immerse yourself in the world of pottery without any upfront commitment. And with the internet, you can now read almost any magazine online and on-demand.

Some pottery magazines you might want to check out are Ceramic Review, Clay Times, and ClayCraft.

You can normally find interviews with amazing potters and breathtaking pieces of pottery in these magazines.

However, most magazines don’t teach you how to get started. So once you find your inspiration to get started, get your hands in the clay!

6) Social Media

Pretty much anyone is on social media nowadays; you, your family, your work colleagues, your childhood friend’s mom… anyone!

Regardless of the social media that you are using, it’s a great way to connect with other potters and check out their work. Many professionals ceramic artists and amateur potters like to share their work online.

Especially social media that focus on visuals such as Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are great for getting new ideas for your next project.

7) Making Something With Kids

If you are a parent, why not involve your kids with your new passion for pottery? There are many kid-friendly pottery kits that you can try or workshops that you can attend together.

You could try one of the pottery projects for beginners or handbuilding ideas.

If your kids like it, you can even make it a weekly family activity.

This is not only a great way to get into pottery, but you also get to spend a fun time with your kids.

8) Craft Fair

Check out if there will be any craft fairs coming up in your area. If it’s a decent-sized fair, there is a big chance that there will be a few potters trying to sell their creations as well.

This is a good opportunity to get into the local pottery community and see how many locals share your new hobby.

Your new friends might be willing to teach you a thing or two, and they might know where to buy secondhand equipment for cheap.

And who knows?

After practicing for a year or two you might be able to sell some of your pieces at a craft fair yourself!

9) Museums Or Historic Sites

Pottery has been around for thousands of years. And to this day we can often still find pieces of pottery made by our ancestors.

If you are interested in pottery, visiting a museum or historic site might be a great way to get familiar with the different types of pottery that have been made over the ages.

Seeing what people generations ago were able to make with their own bare hands might be the right spark to get you interested in making a few pieces yourself.

10) Online Classes

It’s also possible to take a pottery class from the comfort of your own home. Many big sites like Domestika and SkillShare have classes for beginners. And even some small pottery studios offer online workshops now.

Of course, following a class online is not quite the same as attending a class in person. But for many people living in rural areas, it’s the only option available.

If possible, try to choose a live online class rather than a prerecorded class, so that you can still ask the instructor some questions or advice when you need it.

Conclusion

Pottery is a form of art that has been around for thousands of years, and if you’re interested in learning more about this hobby or making it your profession, there are many ways to get started.

Join a class at the local college or pottery studio near where you live, buy yourself a beginner kit, or visit an upcoming crafts fair to see what’s on display.

Getting into pottery is easier than it has ever been!

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